On the afternoon of August 12, 2020, Helmut passed away at home after an extended illness from heart failure, his wife and daughter by his side. Helmut was 78 years old.
Helmut Hintz was born in Baumgartenberg, Austria, on September 15, 1941, the only son of Albert Hintz and Berta Doffinger Hintz. Helmut’s dad was involuntarily drafted into the German army and died in World War II. Helmut and his mother along with other family members spent the next few years in Poland and Germany enduring many hardships in war-torn Europe. The opportunity to come to the United States, specifically Prairie County, came in May of 1952 when they were sponsored by the World Church and a local family. Helmut’s mother married Christ Lassle of Fallon in 1953 and the family grew with the arrival of brothers David, Daniel, and Duane and sister Deloris. Helmut attended school in Fallon, Glendive, Miles City and finished the eighth grade in Fallon. He overcame the language barrier and embraced his citizenship in the United States for the rest of his life. His work history began early at Milo’s Grocery while still in school. After his formal education ended, Helmut continued to work at the grocery store and began what was to become many trips to a farm just southeast of Terry. Helmut and Nina Tusler were married on March 14, 1963. Over the years Helmut had been given more and more responsibilities at the store and eventually was encouraged to purchase the store when owner Milo Johnson retired. After being open nearly 3 years, the grocery store proved to be challenging with large chain stores Buttrey Food and Drug and Safeway building new stores in nearby Glendive. It was time for a change. Daughter Roxanne was born during this time in Fallon. The family moved to Glendive in 1966. Helmut went to work at Safeway reaching the position of assistant manager before going to work for Sundry Shops selling goods in the Glendive-Miles City-Forsyth area including 8-track tapes to Eddie Gaub in Terry. After declining a transfer to Kalispell with Sundry so that their children could stay close to grandparents in Terry and Fallon, Helmut went to work in management at Warehouse Grocery in 1971. Son Myron and daughter Sheryl were born during this time in Glendive. Change was just around the corner. That change came in February 1972 when Nina’s dad suddenly passed away and the family moved to Terry to assist her mother with the farm and ranch. What was thought to be a temporary situation turned into nearly 50 years of life on the farm. Daughter Camilla was born in 1977.
Helmut took pride in raising quality hay and RX3 cattle. For many years during this time, he also milked by hand as many as 10 cows twice a day, every day. Occasionally he could recruit a couple of his children to help but most of the time he milked the cows on his own and was able to provide milk and cream to many local customers. As is so often the case, outside employment was necessary to support a family on the farm and in 1979 Helmut went to work for Buffalo Rapids Irrigation Project. He made many close friends along the ditch banks of the Project and enjoyed the opportunities to work with the new guys when they came aboard and sometimes they were the new, young guys which he especially enjoyed. Helmut was part of the BR crew for over 30 years. Helmut had a strong work ethic but also took time to play. He was a sports enthusiast, cheering on the Terriers not only in the late 50s and early 60s when he lived in Prairie County but continuing while the family lived in Glendive. Upon the return to Prairie County he supported his children and grandchildren in all their school activities.
He played softball and coached teams in Glendive even after the move to Terry. He was a long-time Braves baseball fan and especially enjoyed watching the games on TV after his retirement. It would be time for another change when the Braves games no longer held his interest this season due to his declining health. Helmut participated in league bowling in Glendive and Miles City and especially enjoyed mixed league with a crew from Terry bowling at the Red Rock Lanes and often being selected to bowl in the “Big 32” at those same lanes. Arthritis put a stop to that activity. However, he did mention in the last year that he would like to try bowling again when he asked Roxy if she knew if his bowling ball was still around. Most of all Helmut loved his family and the best times were spent together no matter the occasion or activity. He instilled a strong work ethic in his children and was proud of the adults they have become. He and Nina were never far apart spending the better part of 60 years together. The longest separations coming in the last year due to several hospital stays.
Helmut was preceded in death by his parents and stepfather and his brother Dave, in-laws Sheldon and Delpha Tusler, friends Raymond Strasheim and Fred Forcella. Helmut is survived by his wife Nina of Terry; their children: Roxy Carlson of Terry; Myron and Kristy Hintz of Dickinson, ND; Sheryl and Brian Morast of Fallon; Cami and Brent White of Glendive; their grandchildren: Ashley (Morast) and Zack Huber of Fallon; Alyssa (Morast) and Alex Yanish of Fargo, ND; Aaron Morast of Fallon; Heather (Hintz) and Ryan Fahy of Dickinson, ND; Sheldon Hintz of Dickinson, ND; Paige White, Hope White, Thain White, Drew White all of Glendive; brothers: Dan and Pam Lassle and Duane Lassle all of Terry; sister Deloris and David Killion of Discovery Bay, CA; special nephew and friend Bill Tusler; friend Bruce Lantis; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation for Helmut Hintz will be on Friday, August 21, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with family receiving friends from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home in Terry, MT. Graveside services will be on Saturday, August 22, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. at the Prairie County Cemetery with Rev. Jamie Schmeling officiating. Condolences to the family may be sent by visiting www.stevensonandsons.com.
Should friends desire, memorials can be made to the Terry Community Presbyterian Church or the charity of one’s choice.